As a follow-up to the last Dobbs Ferry PTSA General Membership Meeting, we wanted to provide meeting minutes that capture the wonderful discourse that occurred between our very own Board of Education (BOE) and our parent community. The purpose of this meeting was to educate our community about:
The meeting was a wonderful give-and-take discussion and an opportunity for our community to convene and openly discuss the role of our BOE as well as gain insights on how parents can play an active role in advancing our schools.
Members of the BOE in attendance were: Tracy Baron, Lynne Black, Mike Goldman, Jonathan Greengrass, Jean Lucasey
Here is a top-level summary of the evening:
OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
BOARD MEETINGS: PURPOSE AND STRUCTURE
With regard to teacher tenure, where is information found and how can we give feedback regarding specific teachers?
When a teacher is up for tenure it is on the BOE website for us to access and the public can comment. Public input is important when it comes to tenure, both good and bad. The board makes final decision for tenure. The BOE has to be 100% in favor of teacher - if anyone is on the fence, it will not happen.
What happens when we complain about a teacher? Does the teacher find out?
No the teacher will not. The principal can say she understands your concern but cannot tell you what steps may or may not be taken. If you have a concern about a teacher, be sure to share with the principal via letter or verbally and then if he/she does not address, then go to Lisa Brady. All positive and negative feedback goes into the teacher's personnel file.
If I have a question for a BOE member and I email them, is it private?
If you email one board member they will share the email if you tell them to. If you want it to remain between you and the BOE members, tell them as much. Otherwise they might not think it’s a BOE issue so always email the entire board if it’s an issue that concerns the entire BOE. If you have a concern email the board before their meetings and they can then discuss. Always feel free to pick up the phone and call an individual BOE member – those conversations are always kept private.
How can parents become involved and/or give feedback to the BOE committees? How about COMPACT Committees?
The best way to give feedback to the BOE or its committees is to send an email (to oneBOE member or all) or call a BOE member. Also, attending BOE meetings is a great way to familiarize yourself with what is new in the District and how the BOE works. Most BOEmembers are also happy to sit down with parents and have coffee and discuss any concerns or questions. Compact committee members serve for two years. New members for all committees that include parents are recruited via a PTSA email blast in late summer and at back-to-school nights.
What connection, if any, does the BOE have with the village trustees and mayor? Or decisions made collaboratively
The school board has no connection to village board. They respect each other’s issues and sometimes collaborate but they are separate boards and do not work together on issues.
Is the superintendent a member of BOE?
She is not a member but usually is invited to and attends executive session meetings.
The Dobbs Ferry PTSA would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to our Board of Education for attending this meeting, thoughtfully preparing an informative presentation, and for answering the myriad of questions from our parent community. Your transparency and collaboration are very much appreciated.